Bucks-Celtics Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 21, 2012
With the Boston Celtics mired in a three-game losing streak, 35-year-old Paul Pierce decided to take matters into his own hands. The All-Star forward will try to build off his historic effort and lead the Celtics to their sixth straight home win on Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Pierce turned back the clock with a season-high 40 points on Wednesday in a 103-91 home win over Cleveland that snapped Boston's longest skid of the season. He became the oldest player in Celtics history to score 40 in a regulation game, going 13 of 16 from the field, 6 of 7 from beyond the arc and sinking all eight free-throw attempts. It was only his second 40-point game since 2005-06. Pierce has a 43.6 field-goal percentage this season, but he's shooting 26 for 39 (66.7 percent) from the field in his last three games. "I feel like the last few games I've been shooting the ball a lot better," Pierce said. "So I'm feeling like I'm really coming along where I'm starting to get into a good groove offensively." The 15-year veteran has averaged 22.0 points in his last two meetings with the Bucks, but has scored just 11.8 in his past four in the series at TD Garden. Rajon Rondo has also given the Celtics (13-12) a lift lately, totaling 46 points on 16-of-29 shooting (55.2 percent) in his last two games. The league's assist leader hasn't posted three straight 20-point games since the 2008-09 season. It's not likely to come easy against the defensive-minded Bucks (13-11), who have held opponents to 92.3 points during a 5-2 stretch. Milwaukee, though, has been looking for any kind of spark offensively as the team's shooting struggles continued Wednesday in a 90-80 loss at Memphis. The Bucks ended up with season lows in points and field-goal percentage (35.3). Brandon Jennings, who had a season-high 34 points in a win over Indiana on Tuesday, scored 26 despite shooting 9 of 26. He'll try to rebound against the Celtics, whom he burned for 21 points and 13 assists in a 99-88 win in the first meeting in Boston on Nov. 2. Monta Ellis hopes to shake off one of the worst shooting performances of his eight-year career, going 1 for 14 against the Grizzlies. The team's scoring leader (18.4) has made just 13 for 51 (25.5 percent) from the floor in his last three games. "He's our scorer, so he's the most important player on this team," Jennings said. "With great scorers like that you shouldn't be too worried because they always come back strong." Larry Sanders has been a key to the team's success against Celtics, averaging 12.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in three meetings – including 18 and 16, respectively, in a 91-88 win on Dec. 1. The Bucks, though, have eclipsed 100 points only once in their last 14 games, averaging 91.4 while shooting 41.2 percent during that stretch. Boston had won six straight against Milwaukee before losing two of three meetings this season. The Celtics, who have won eight of 10 at home against the Bucks, haven't lost a season series to them since 2005-06.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker